Liberties, Excesses, Fragility

Eric Herchaft / Reporters / Redux

French citizens have little confidence in their President's ability to steer the country to better times

A bare year after François Hollande was elected President of France, there's a whiff of cordite in the air. The Socialist leader came to power promising to bring ethics back to French politics, to get the economy firing up again and to defend ordinary people against the venal rich.

Instead, he's the one in need of protection from the people, after slumping to a depth of unpopularity unparalleled during the 54-year history of the Fifth Republic. One well-known political analyst, Dominique Moïsi, likens the situation today to the era just before the...

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